The bodies of two sisters believed to be in their early 50's were found on a beach at Miltown Malbay, a town in the west of County Clare on Friday.

The two sisters, who were originally from Birmingham in England, had planned to move back to Ireland together a family friend told the press. The pair had previously lived in Ireland for 15 years.

The results of the postmortem examinations have not been revealed by Irish police, but it is understood that the cause of their deaths was drowning - foul play has already been ruled out.

But Irish police say it may never be possible to piece together all of the circumstances surrounding their tragic deaths.

The two sisters originally moved to the north-Cork town of Fermoy with their father in 1979, where they opened a boutique called Dominos which they ran for about 15 years.

The sisters moved to north Wales in 1994 but friends said they had planned to return to Ireland permanently.

Tragically their clothed bodies were discovered lying on rocks at the edge of the beach at Whitestrand.

Local Police Superintendent Colm O'Sullivan told the press: "There was no foul play and we are treating the deaths as a tragic accident. We now have to establish how this happened."